NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- For the week ended Aug. 26, the S&P 500 Insurance Index gained 2.9%, while the KBW Insurance Index was up 3.4%. In comparison, the broader S&P 500 Index rose 4.7%. Meanwhile, at close yesterday, the S&P 500 Insurance Index ended 4.8% higher, while KBW Insurance Index moved up 5.7%. The S&P 500 rose 2.8%.Insurance stocks are on a relief rally as estimates that show Hurricane Irene's cost to insurers was less than expected. Catastrophe modelers expected insurers to pay almost $14 billion towards Irene's damages. However, a ballpark estimate is loss of only $2.6 billion. Industry analysts say that insurers have not been able to raise rates during the past three years amid strong competition and readily available supply. Now, even a small storm could be the catalyst to trigger across-the-board premium increases. Analysts believe that this latest storm could lead to significant firming in the insurance industry, after years of weakness.
8 Insurance Stocks Flying High
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